“From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.” Psalm 61:2
If ever there was a person who understood the up and down nature of life, it was David; his was a life filled with highs and lows, spiritual mountain tops and valleys. The numerous writings attributed to David—found mostly in the Psalms—illustrate just how aware he was of the tumultuous nature of life. David was not a stoic by any stretch of the imagination; he was not afraid to pour his heart and soul out before the Lord. There are just as many of his psalms that are heartfelt cries out to God for mercy, deliverance, or assurance as there are those in which David expresses feelings of joy and security. David’s openness and emotional honesty make him one of the most relatable figures in the Bible.
Though he protected his father’s flocks from lions and bears, though he slew giants, though he killed his ten-thousands in battle, David is no stranger to fear, anxiety, or depression. He endured much in his life, some things caused by his actions, as well as things suffered at the hands of others. He spent several years living on the run from King Saul, who out of great envy and jealousy, had determined to kill him. David had few whom he could trust and spent much time hiding alone throughout the rugged hill country of Israel. After becoming king, David would have to lead military campaigns and lead his men into battle. Near the end of his life, David experienced one of the most challenging events he would endure: when Absalom revolted against his rule. Due to this, David was forced to flee Jerusalem and once again go on the run; however, this time it wasn’t an enemy king who was trying to kill him—-it was his son.
There is much debate about when David penned what would become Psalm 61; it could have occurred at any number of points in his life. We already know that David was no stranger to adversity, and this is what makes David’s words so much more poignant. Regardless of where he is, or what his situation may be, David knows there is but one to whom he can turn to when he feels overwhelmed, scared, stressed, and lost—God. Only God can give a faint heart hope, and only God can sustain us. Wherever we are, even at the ends of the earth, God is still there and still listening to our prayer. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Despite what the situation may seem like around us, He is still in control if everything and He will bring us peace, and we will “rest under the shade of your wings” (Psalm 61:4).
We find this same sentiment in the New Testament. Peter encourages us to “cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). We need not hold on to our baggage; we must be more like David. Just as he was open and honest with God, so too must we be with Christ. We must wholly submit to Him and trust fully in Him to sustain and protect us. Christ demonstrated the depth of His care and love for us by going to the cross, so why then do we doubt that He will not be with us through whatever trials we are experiencing?
Art credit: ”Anxiety Drawing” by Arturo Leal (Saatchi Art)